2023 NAACP Image Awards: 3 Essential Films from Director Ryan Coogler

The trailblazing filmmaker accepted the “Outstanding Motion Picture” award for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Filmmaker Ryan Coogler rose to prominence with his 2013  movie Fruitvale Station, starring actor Michael B. Jordan. Since then, the West Coast-based director has gone on to direct and produce some of the most successful films in Hollywood, his latest being the Black Panther sequel Wakanda Forever.

While the NAACP Image Awards may be over, we’re still recognizing some of our favorite Black creators, including Ryan Coogler, with these three essential movies.

  • Fruitvale Station

    Coogler made his feature directorial debut in 2013 with the biographical drama Fruitvale Station starring actor and friend Michael B. Jordan who portrays the real-life Oscar Grant, a young Black man who was shot and killed by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer Johannes Mehserie in 2009 at the Fruitvale district station in Oakland, Ca.

    The film earned several accolades, including an NAACP Image Award in 2014 for “Outstanding Independent Motion Picture.”

  • Black Panther

    The burgeoning filmmaker became the first Black Marvel Studio director in 2018 and shifted the culture with the release of Black Panther. The film denounced the often negative narrative surrounding Black movies, including the idea that they are not usually successful.

    In 2022, Coogler returned to his director’s chair for the film’s sequel, Wakanda Forever.

  • Creed

    Michael B. Jordan and Coogler reunited again in 2015 for the sports drama Creed, a spin-off of the Rocky franchise. The movie received critical acclaim. Coogler returned for Creed II, this time as a producer, and Steven Caple Jr. directed.

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